Date: 5th of February 2015
Review by Ancient Winds
Two weeks after a fantastic sold out gig with the mighty Vikings of Amon Amarth, the Colchester Arts Centre organised a new death metal ceremony at their old church. This gory ritual gathered Welsh cult death metallers Desecration and two young English acts: The King Is Blind and Obscene Entity. It’s good to see that the Colchester Arts Centre is still organising some metal shows occasionally as the Essex metal scene is very poor in terms of bands and venues. Except the Arts Centre and the Asylum bar (located in Chelmsford), you won’t find any interesting places to enjoy that style of music in my region.
As for the bands based there, most of them play punk/metalcore and other modern/alternative hardcore stuff, which is not my cup of tea. So, you can imagine how happy I am to attend some true metal gigs in a church!
Contrary to the Amon Amarth concert, this one wasn’t crowded as hell. It was a bit sad as the headliners along with their main support act were simply excellent. That wasn’t the case of Obscene Entity (2.5/5), young death metal trio who have only released one self-produced EP in 2012 so far. I’m not surprised to see they’re currently struggling in finding a label to release their works as their lack of experience was visible during their whole set.
The songs were very average, too basic and therefore not interesting enough to catch the attention of the audience. While playing their first track, the drummer even lost one of his sticks and had to look for it for around 15 seconds. That was a proof of a certain lack of concentration but he apologised shortly thereafter for the inconvenience caused with a nice smile. Fair enough. The only positive element I noticed could be found in the death vocals from both guitarist and bassist, which sounded very well and it seemed the crowd appreciated them as well. Let’s hope they will improve in the future.
Then, this show reached a far higher level with The King Is Blind (4/5). Under this weird name, lurks the new band of Paul Ryan (ex-guitarist of Cradle of Filth and The Blood Divine). Formed in 2013 in Colchester, they did two demos and signed quickly with extreme metal label Mordgrimm Records to release their first EP “The Deficiencies of Man”.
They were automatically supported by the crowd as they used to play several times in the Arts Centre which is kind of their home. The first time I saw them was in September last year and they were supporting their friends Winterfylleth. Their groovy doom/death metal literally slapped me at that time and I got another slap that night. Their compositions are inspired, mixing both styles with coherence. What makes them more original is the efficient use of some groove metal influences, reminding a little bit Pantera.
From the beginning until the end, the speed and power of their death metal alternated brilliantly with the typical sluggishness of doom metal. They recently came back from their first overseas show in Switzerland, before that live performance. I’m simply impressed by their lightning rise and very impatient to hear their first album that should come soon. I strongly recommend you listen to “The Deficiencies of Man”. The King Is Blind is for sure, one of the most promising and original UK extreme metal band I’ve discovered recently.
2) Devoured fragility
3) Mors genesis
4) Skull temples
And now, let’s hail one of the most respected UK extreme metal hordes: Desecration (4/5). The fact their first infamous slaughter “Gore and Perversion” got banned and destroyed upon its release in 1995, with the members being arrested by the police, has helped them to achieve cult status. But reducing this band to this controversial event would be an unforgivable mistake as they have always released great quality albums throughout their 20 years of career.
They gave us a pure lesson of brutal death metal during their entire set. Ollie Jones’ guitars sounded as old-school death metal should sound: cavernous and filthy. They played one song “Fontanelle Fornication” from their classic gory massacre “Gore and Perversion” (my favourite Desecration album). The crowd was of course fully satisfied with this feast of brutality. Ollie and his mates were very cool and relaxed by communicating frequently with their fans and telling jokes. The drummer Michael Hourihan (who is very technical by the way) even showed his behind to the audience. It was funny.
At the end of their set, the bassist Andi Morris broke a string and had to stop playing in order to repair and add another string. He didn’t have a spare bass guitar unfortunately. As a consequence, his two mates played a complete song without him and it didn’t sound bad at all to be honest!
Lots of laughs and good mood throughout Desecration’s excellent live performance. It was a pleasure for me to see them on stage for the first time. I advise you to have a look at their first ever video clip for the song “Coffin Smasher” (from their last opus “Cemetery Sickness” released by the very good Slovakian label Metal Age Productions). They’re still disturbing to our great satisfaction!
1) Cemetery Sickness
2) Bacterial breakdown
3) When the heart stops…
5) Coffin Smasher
6) Aim, Fire, Kill
7) Fontanelle Fornication / Obscene
8) Grave wax
10) Intravisceral / Grave secrets